Lamar on Life

From a Christian living in a Gulf country. The Middle East, Arabic, understanding Muslims, outreach to Muslims are to be addressed. In addition, thoughts, reflections, and book reviews will be posted.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

More thoughts on Peter Lord’s quiz.
3. It is normal for a Christian to sin every day.

As you may have guessed by now, Lord says this is also false. The word “normal” indicates a state of affairs which is to be expected and is therefore useless to fight. Many Christians feel that the best one can do in this life is a sort of “sin management” system with which one tries to avoid being as sinful as you were yesterday or the day before. We use our past behavior as the measuring stick by which we evaluate our success for today. Lord says, “When asked, ‘How long can I live without sin?’ we usually ask it as though we were asking, ‘How long can I hold my breath?” However, as Lord points out, there is no teaching of scripture which says it is normal for a Christian to sin every day. Rather, we are repeatedly told that we are not to sin.

So, is God giving us an impossible command thereby setting us up for daily failure? No. I believe the secret (Though I doubt if it can really be called a secret since it has been explained by Paul a long time ago) is summarized in the words, “Therefore, I no longer live, but Christ lives his life in me.” (Galatians 2:20) And this is the verse Watchman Nee uses to summarize his classic book also called, The Normal Christian Life. Essentially, the normal Christian life is Christ living in me and all that that truth connotes.
Peter Lord appeals to the Christian who feels condemned by saying, “Dear Christian, living your life out on this planet is not a sinful act. A Christian can live without sin as long as he chooses not to sin. Committing a sin requires a willful choice to do so. It will never happen by accident or without your consent.”

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